…as of today I’ve been in Utah exactly one month…! The days have simply flown off the calendar… carried by the wind into the recent past…
…in that time, I’m amazed… surprised… maybe awed by all that has happened…
I’ve settled into a spacious bedroom in house like I grew up in… been on several job interviews… had a few offers that didn’t quite pan out… and some that I’m still waiting on… found a home church… joined a couple small groups… made some new friends… played a couple games of tennis… ran through the neighborhood… seen the snow falling… and the rain, too… bailed out a flooded basement window when the sprinkler systems went berserk… baked a couple good desserts… eaten some great meals made by my roommies… God is sooo good!
Though at times I get impatient to have my life “figured out” according to the world’s views, or at least have a job with some money coming in, I can see that in all this God is holding me… day by day, I’ve been living in His grace…
What comes to mind when you hear that word? What does it even really mean? Is it even real?
Growing up, I heard it used a lot… It was often differentiated from the word mercy…
Mercy – not getting what you deserve
Grace – getting what you don’t deserve
Both are great gifts God has given us!
One of the best stories I’ve ever known to exemplify the meaning of the word comes from Jesus’ teaching about the prodigal son… He squandered his inheritance, came back to plead with his dad to be a slave, only to be welcomed back… celebrated as having come back from the dead…!*
Now, in this story, there is a second son… A son who was responsible, did everything his dad wanted, and yet, there was no celebration for his faithfulness… I never really understood this… In answering this son, the dad makes it clear that they must celebrate because the younger son was presumably dead in a foreign land… but turns out he wasn’t… he came home… he was in fact alive and could be restored…! So they must celebrate!
Though I often identified more with the older son, feeling myself to be pretty responsible, as the years have gone by, I’ve come to see how I, too, have been the prodigal… squandering the things that I’ve been given, selfishly spending on myself, not extending forgiveness or even grace to those who ask or need it from me… Yes, I, too, have strayed… I, too, have needed grace…**
Easter is always a time that highlights our greatest need for saving and God’s greatest gift of grace to save us through Jesus… That He, an innocent man, would be willing to die a criminals death, a death we deserved, so that we wouldn’t have to face it and we could instead have the chance at immortality, living with Him forever! Wow. That is GRACE.
The last year and a half has been no different for me… No matter how exciting it was being abroad last year, it was equally as challenging… stretching… a time of tempting and testing… And God gave me grace to live each and every day… It has been the same over the last few months… Though I still don’t know what tomorrow may hold, I know who it is that holds the future…*** And, so, I continue to live in His grace… In a life undeserved…
No matter what you’re going through, rest in His grace… In His love, He gives rain and sun to all…****
When you find it tough to continue on, let Him carry you…!*****
***Corrie ten Boom is quoted to have said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
*****The Footprints in the Sand poem exemplifies my thoughts on this perfectly… When there were only one set of footprints, it was then that God carried you.
pc: Sarah Coffey, Waikiki Beach, Hawaii